All I can say is Wow! I was blown away with Demo Day of the IoT Design Challenge in Research Triangle Park. We had seven teams demonstrate a wide range of innovative projects, all integrating various “things”, and using Bluemix in the backend.
The Grand Prize went to Elliot Poger, who applied technology to a problem all of us with aging parents see regularly. Elliot’s project, PharmAssist, instrumented a 7 day pill box, tying it together with an Arduino board and Bluemix to generate beeps and then text messages if the box isn’t opened according to schedule. My mother-in-law was visiting, and I would have bought one on the spot if he’d been selling them. Congratulations Elliot!
Several of the teams used beacons, loaned to them by our joint sponsor, BKON. This event was my first real exposure to beacons, and I have to admit, I still have the creeps. I grew up joking “Big Brother is watching”, but honestly, we had no idea what was coming. The People’s Choice winning application, from an NC State team (Vrushti Shah, Dharin Upadhyay, Siddhant Oza, Chetan Pawar and IBM mentor, Mihir Shah), used beacons to help navigate their library. The team demonstrated how upon entering the library, the beacons would interface with their app on their phone to tell them the closest available study rooms, provide maps, and more. I think all of us were easily imagining how this type of technology could be applied to help navigate any large venue.
Another winner (and joint sponsor) was the RTP Foundation. Demo day was hosted at The Frontier, a new project of the RTP Foundation, officially launching January 15th. Though the People’s Choice Application vote was really close across all the great applications, The Frontier was a landslide winner:
What an amazing experience bringing together RTP Foundation, our great local universities, IBM, and start-up companies like BKON. To find out more about all the applications in the challenge, and get their code from GitHub, visit the IoT Design Challenge website. You can start building your own applications using the 30 day free Bluemix trial. To quickly get started on Node-RED, check out my “thing-less” (well, you need a phone) getting started video and step-by-step directions.